Sexual attraction between a nameless narrator and his wife, Fizz, provides the through line of this sweeping epic by journalist and editor Tejpal. Written from within the skin of India, The Alchemy of Desire is a novel quite unlike any other, with a power and weight of feeling one almost never encounters in. In turn-of-the-millennium India, a penniless would-be writer halts work on his novel only to feed his ceaseless desire for his beautiful wife. Then a chance.

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But i waxed too eloquent! His other book is better It tells us we also write out our next lives as we live out our present. And it explains why the ‘writer’ focuses on desire. These flowing lines rattle into a mundane list of “demons” and grind to a halt with the bland statement: Overall it is worth reading if you can tolerate its boring portion.

Thanks for giving me such a great time. From the city to the hill station to the diaries to the sex to an attempt to move on.

Indian summary

This is a very well written book with a steady subject at hand. The man who precipitates the war to end alchmy wars. I loved this book. It understands truth is relative. This time his musings would last years, the pain would be unbearable- there will be no music for long- so she went away, only yarun resurface when he had found the determining inspiration of his life.


What I think is the biggest drawback of the book is that it is actually two books, one, a story of a young alcuemy from small town India, madly and obsessively in love, come to the big city, and a sort of coming of age of a marriage and it’s dissolution. He has written for a number of international publications, including the Paris Reviewthe Guardianthe Financial Times and Prospect magazine.

If you want to crack it open, and I encourage you to, please think of it as two books. A simple recounting of the plot does the novel a serious injustice. The narrative- lucid and traun, prose in appearance, poetic in effect- is one of the strongest points of the novel. Apr 26, liz rated it liked it Shelves: He sketches out the protagonist very well – and the smaller side characters are very amusing and at times touching.

Hardcoverpages. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. We end the first section with his wife leaving him. Pankaj Mishra has said, “It sets new and dauntingly high standards for Indian writing in English”, while Altaf Tyrewala has called it “an instant classic”.

Yes, there is an awful lot of “erotic” content. It returns finally to the narrator and his wife, by way of the mystery of Catherine’s death, and in doing so returns the narrator to his wife and to What Naipaul’s statement does is raise the question: The narrator cannot alcgemy himself away from the journals and the woman whose spirit seems to haunt him, and is as a result pulled away from his wife for the first time.


And amazingly do it all justice, or as the author would phrase it: Lists with This Book. Desire for love, money, remembrance. It captures the polyphonic voices of India with an empathy and authenticity rarely achieved before. The butt-jokes flow easily don’t they?

The Alchemy of Desire – Wikipedia

Tarun Tejpal has enjoyed a year career as a highly influential senior journalist and publisher. The novel is not polished and you can easily find the seams where he connected these stories. He should definitely change his editor. Garbage of Higher Order!

There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Get fast, free shipping with Amazon Prime. His editor should however, have done a better job alchwmy tried to tone down the instances where he gets carried away he is clearly very impressed with his own style.

But also creates love, beauty, art. What do we get then.

The Alchemy of Desire

Without a doubt Terun J. And that made me take a leap of faith, even though I fundamentally disliked and distrusted him A hindu woman crosses border with her money stuffed inside vagina. Throughout, it reveals Tejpal’s eye for characterisation and description. How does a deaire fall out of love? Well written, engaging literary style would be the key plus.